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What Run Oregon is Wearing: Soleus GPS Pulse BLE Running Watch

I had the opportunity to try out the Soleus GPS Pulse BLE Running Watch. This snazzy little device is truly an all-in-one piece of equipment. I usually run with a GPS watch, so having access to my mileage, pace, and distance is something I’ve pretty much gotten addicted to. I was curious about how this watch measured up with its additional features.

“The GPS Pulse BLE measures your heart rate while on your wrist, no need for a chest strap. The rechargeable unit allows you to customize 3 viewable lines of data that track your speed, distance, pace, and heart rate. Set up to 6 interval timers, count calories, and store and review your data for later review. Upload your data via Bluetooth using the dedicated Soleus app on your mobile device.”

Pros:

The heart rate monitor is part of the watch. You don’t need to wear any additional equipment. The monitor is on the watch strap and sits right on the inside of your wrist – where your pulse is often taken. The heart rate monitor can easily be turned on or off at any time. The watch I was using did not include a heart rate monitor, so it was kind of cool to see how my heart rate responded to my running. I learned a few things about my runs with this feature.

Photo of the Soleus GPS Pulse BLE shows heart rate monitor location with the green indicator light.

  • The display is large enough to see at a quick glance without interrupting your run. You can also set the watch for night running, which will light up your display so that you can see it in the dark. I did not use this feature, as I’ve only been running in the daytime, but I would definitely take advantage of this if I did run at night.
  • You can set your Soleus Pulse to alert you at each lap. I chose to set my lap feature to 1 mile. Whenever I completed a mile, my watch would beep multiple times and the display would show my pace for that mile. After my run, I could review my data which was broken into laps (or miles, in my case.) It showed my time, speed, distance, and calories burned for that lap. If my final “lap” was not a complete mile, it gave the data for whatever that final lap was – even if it is .2 miles.
  • You can pair your watch with your smart phone. Download the Soleus app and you can check your post-run data on your phone. (A lot easier than trying to view it on a small watch face.)
  • The watch band is soft and pliable. It is a much more comfortable material than most watch bands. While the portion of the band with the heart rate monitor is firm, the fit was quite comfortable.
  • Up to 6 different intervals can be set up on the watch’s timer. While, I have not yet used this feature, I am excited to try it. In the past when I have run timed intervals, I have had to carry a separate timer with me. I look forward to having one right on my wrist!

Cons:

  • The charger cord is really short, making it hard to set the watch on a surface while it is charging. When I tried to use my PC to charge it, my watch was left dangling in the air from the USB port. That didn’t seem ideal, so I found a different location to charge it, but it was still awkward with such a short cord.

Soleus Pulse BLE charger

  • Inital set-up was extremely challenging. The quick set-up guide that came with the watch wasn’t enough for me to get things figured out, so I went to the Soleus website and downloaded the manual. That blew my mind. It definitely wasn’t written/drawn for my learning style. The 4 watch buttons were labelled S1, S5, S7, and S11 on the manual (but are not labelled as such on the watch). I kept forgetting which button was which as I was setting things up and then it would time out or I would hit the wrong button and have to start over. I was getting quite frustrated. I finally drew a circle on a piece of paper and labelled it with the S1-S11 labels so that I could have a quick reference as I read the directions. That enabled me to finally complete my watch set up.
  • Each button on the watch has multiple functions, but not all of those exact functions are listed next to that button. Initially, remembering which button does what when I headed out for a run or wanted to review my data was a stretch for me. After about 3 runs, I did manage to get it down – I think.
  • Post-run data on the watch is only listed in laps. I was unable to see my total miles and total average pace for a run. Instead, I could see each individual mile with that data. While, I could do the math, it would be handy to have both the individual mile data and the total run data available to view.

Overall Impression

I like the options that Soleus BPS Pulse BLE has. However, for “everyday” running use, I did not find it to be as practical and user-friendly as I would like. The convenience of the heart rate monitor is a plus, as is the interval option. I also like the comfort of the fit on my wrist.  When I want to track my heart rate or run timed intervals, I will definitely reach for the Soleus BPS Pulse BLE before I head out the door.

 

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